May 17, 2006
On Tuesday, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said early results from a clinical study show their HIV drug Lexiva is comparable to Abbott Laboratories Inc.'s combination drug Kaletra. The study's 887 patients received twice a day either Lexiva (700 mg) along with ritonavir (100 mg), the active ingredient in Abbott's Norvir, or Kaletra (400 mg) with ritonavir (100 mg). Once a day, patients in both groups received abacavir (600 mg) and lamivudine (300 mg), the active ingredients in GSK's HIV drugs Ziagen and Epivir. After 48 weeks, 73 percent of Lexiva patients achieved suppression of HIV replication, compared to 71 percent of the Kaletra patients, according to the study.